All that happened at JNU recently, is not something we should be fine with. Not with things either of the sides did. If we duly consider both the sides, ofcourse, we cannot tolerate anti-national slogans or gatherings, but, the crushing ideology and actions used, towards students is also not acceptable rather. Only the activists, both the protagonists and the antagonists in this ongoing film, actually know what really happened. We, as a normal “everyday citizen” of the country can, for now, only pin media statements on our boards. We can, for now, draw assumptions, place ourselves on a side, mostly against JNU-ians. Lets sneak peek onto what we have till now.
WHAT HAPPENED AT THE JNU?
By the noon of 9th February, 2011 , half of the nation had smiles on their faces. Another terrorist hanged. This was more than enough to jolly for a country like ours where terrorism has graced its black shadows for long.
Three years later, this day aroused controversy. Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), known for its democratic environment and active participation of youths in politics, saw a provoking use of democracy.
- Ex-members of Democratic Students’ Union (DSU) a Maoist group of students, planned a gathering in the campus to “protest the JUDICIAL MURDER of Afzal Guru and Maqbool Bhat and in solidarity with ‘the struggle of Kashmiri people for their democratic right to self-determination’.
- This was supposed to be done in peaceful manner in form of acts, plays and music according to some sources.
- Initially, it is said that permission for the gathering was given, but later withdrawn by the University,on the intervention of Akhil Bhartiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP), the students wing of BJP.
- DSU seeked help from Jawaharlal Nehru University Student’s Union (JNUSU), Students Federation Of India (SFI) and All India Students’ Association (AISA). All of them supported. JNU has long been a symbol of democracy.
- The withdrawal of permission was a “Back-stab” on DSU and the democratic principles.
The gathering mainly had students from the campus but some kashmiri outsiders (students) as well as insiders were also invited. The protest continued without mics and loudspeakers as their use was denied. ABVP clashed with the organisers of the gathering, which was already shifted to a nearby dhaba (motel).
It is clear that some slogans, we could never permit of, were raised. But who actually raised the controversial ones, remains unclear. Was the protest already anti-national? Or did it turn ugly after ABVP’s interference? This remains a question. The meeting, which was to be a peceful one, ended in clashes and ultimately, police occupation.
The execution of Afzal Guru has been in debates even when he was hanged. Not all, however, majority supported it. Many others criticized. But that the name Afzal Guru has been marked a terrorist, so it was obvious that anything in its support would go controversial. So did the peaceful gathering.While DSU seems communist and socialist, ABVP is of different political ideologies. Thus,
the possibility of probable use of this meeting (and its suppression), as a chance for ABVP’s own political interest, given an advantage of the central BJP power, can also not be ruled out.
Now let me explain this. The meeting was, although a bit anti-national(sentimental), the slogans raised were not a start but a response to ABVP’s members’ slogans.
- ABVP raised, “Ye Kashmir Hamara hai, saara ka saara hai” which means that Kashmir entirely belongs to India.
- It cannot be denied that this was provoking too for a peaceful, but willfully disturbed protest. So came the reply, “Hum kya chaahte hai? Azaadi!“. Every coin has two sides. So can this slogan. Azaadi, or freedom may not necessarily be from India. However if it meant so, this should not have been raised by DSU or its allies, but the Kashmiri Students with separatist ideology. The second opinion should be the freedom from Armed Forces Special Power Act, 1990 in Jammu And Kashmir.
- Now were there any Kashmiri Separatists present in the gathering? Another big question.
- Next slogan was, “Tum kitne Afzal Maroge, har ghar se Afzal Niklega”.
Considering socialist ideologies (which is based on upliftment of lower, depressed and poor class, and equality of classes), this slogan might be reaching to the core issues of rise of terrorism like poverty, oppression etc. that if these are not eradicated, terrorism will keep rising.
If not so, then this statement is highly anti-national.
- Next was “INDIA, Go Back!” Being a nationalist myself, I would never support any of these statements. But as I said, every coin has two sides, this statement could also mean different. Here “INDIA” could (possibly) mean the Indian Government backed ABVP and “Go Back” might be for its crushing ideology towards their “peaceful protest”. Another meaning, defined by a JNU student Harshit answering on Quora.com said, This was sentiment of Kashmiri Students for whom, India is as good as a military settlement.
Any otherwise meaning of “India, Go Back!” is deeply condemnable.
All the following slogans were out of limits. Explaining them would be idiotic.
The Current Situation
- Maheish Giri lodged an FIR against the organisers who raised the anti-national slogans.
- Home Minister Rajnath Singh warned that any anti national activities would not be tolerated.
- Delhi Police has already arrested JNUSU President Kanhaiya Kumar on charges of sedition.
- Two others including Umar Khalid surrendered before the Police on 24th. Umar Khalid is the very one who was slammed by Arnab Goswami on his Newshour Debate.
- In the meanwhile a group of lawyers assaulted Kanhaiya Kumar in the Patiala House Court on February 17th.
JNU students went on strike demanding the release of Kanhaiya Kumar. They faced the lathi charge. The country continues to be divided among both the parties. The whole of JNU is united, excluding ABVP members.
A Rough Study
We all are aware of our Fundamental Right of Expression granted by the Constitution of India. This right becomes questionable in JNU’s ongoing controversy.
It is really shameful that a reputed University of the country saw anti-national events. Any such kind of processes should definitely be shut down. But can there be a limitation? Freedom of Expression gives every citizen the right to express their opinions. So, either way, the students were expressing their opinions. The protest was meant to be peaceful cultural program and protest march. It is again clear that the protest went unexpected after ABVP’s intervention. Had ABVP not interrupted, the protest would have been peaceful as expected.
We can see this other way too. If ABVP would not interrupt, how could we know that these kinds of things happen in JNU? We would have been living our own simple lives with nobody caring for what actually happens in the nooks and corners.
We want our youth to actively participate in our politics and then we also question their steps.
The Suspicious Points: Why can’t we believe anybody but ourselves?
- On the ZEE News debate, I heard that the protest was not lodged only this year but 2016 was the third consecutive year. Where was the ABVP all these years? Why this issue never came to light?
- Why was the permission initially granted by the JNU administration? Why was it withdrawn after ABVP asked it to? Does the college administration have no wisdom or conscience? Is the college run by idiots who permit such anti national protests? Or is the college run by idiots who are easily influenced?
- Three office holders of ABVP resigned following the incidence. Their confession on their facebook wall should be read.
- A video shows an ABVP activist supporting “Pakistan Jindabaad” with his “Jindabad Jindabad”! This raised eyebrows against them.
- Why was Kanhaiya Kumar arrested when the Protest was organised not by him or his Union but the DSU?
- Why are the JNU teachers with the students? Are they all terrorist or Naxals? They all still stand confident. What’s wrong and where?
We definitely should not tolerate any anti national elements. Being a nationalist, I would never ally with these kinds of things. However, if we seem to understand both sides, it is difficult to ally only on the basis of Nationalism, or say pseudo-Nationalism. I used Pseudo-Nationalism because we seldom see any national spirit in our country but in cricket matches. Our beautiful country is divided for religions, for political ideologies. Our political parties show patriotism only during elections, or during such incidences. Every other time they are only stuck to discriminate among each other’s policies. Their most important job of is to take into focus or support something which their opposition does not support.
We cannot also rely only on media. Media firms nowadays are in a race against each other. We need to study the cases ourselves. We need to decide on our own conscience. We, if study both sides duly, should be wise enough to judge the right and the wrong. But again, we are the ignorant democratic people of a democratic country.
We have also given ourselves the right to ignore within the right to express.
So it’s obvious to rely on Media.
Its an appeal to the citizen of this democratic country to think wisely and not swiftly. Do not go with the flow. And obviously we do not need to show mercy for any anti national elements.
Think Wisely. Be nationalist, not Pseudo-Nationalist.
Disclaimer: The article is not ANTI-National. The article should be read to consider both the sides. The author does not necessarily means to harm any nationalist sentiments.